With the proliferation of cloud technology and the ever-connected world, software developers have been able to create entirely new paradigms in computing. Microsoft has been leading the charge, not only to replicate these disparate utilities but also to integrate and expand these productivity-enhancing features into a homogenous ecosphere.
For years, users have been accustomed to using cloud storage from a variety of providers. Microsoft has taken this simple concept and expanded it to enable users to not only share but to collaborate in an effective way. With the file-sharing features of SharePoint now offered in OneDrive, users can now simultaneously edit documents. This allows teams of people from anywhere in the world to huddle virtually and commit their ideas to a group effort in real-time.
Cross-platform and mobile devices have become much easier to reach. Office web apps and Office Pro Plus means working on documents is platform-agnostic. Businesses can choose the best devices without worrying about compatibility issues.
In new subscriptions of Office 365, you will see clear evidence of Microsoft’s ingenuity in enhancing the productivity of its solutions. Office 365 now offers these six new productivity and communications features worth checking out.
1. New name and features come to Outlook Web App
The former Office Web App (OWA) is now known simply as Outlook on the web. You will also notice:
- A cleaner, more streamlined look
- Enhancements to your Action Bar, Subject Line, Calendar, and more
- The ability to “pin” messages to the top of your inbox
- A feature called “Sweep” to help you better manage (and easily delete) messages from repeat senders
- Tools and emoticons to craft more visually engaging emails
2. Real-time co-authoring in Word 2016
Real-time co-authoring allows members of a team to see live edits made by their colleagues who are working on the same document. Microsoft has offered co-authoring on its web apps since 2013, but this is the first time it has offered it on its desktop software. Office VP Kirk Koenigsbauer says in a blog post that Microsoft plans to expand it beyond Word to other desktop apps in the future.
3. The new Office 365 Service Trust Portal
For organizations evaluating moving to Office 365, a new Service Trust Portal has been created to provide detailed information on how Microsoft manages security, compliance and privacy. The Service Trust Portal, or STP, offers potential customers direct access to a wide variety of compliance reports and trust resources.
With Office 365 Trust Center and Service Trust Portal compliance, auditors can be assured that assets in the cloud are secure and management has the ability to define protocols for:
- Data loss prevention
For more information on STP, read this blog post.
4. Sensitive documents are protected via Azure Rights Management
Microsoft Azure Rights Management helps you protect your organization’s sensitive information from unauthorized access, and control how this information is used. Azure Rights Management uses encryption, identity, and authorization policies to help secure your files and email.
In comparison to standard access controls, such as NTFS permissions, protection that is applied by using Azure Rights Management stays with the files and emails, independently of the location — inside or outside your organization, networks, file servers, and applications. Azure Rights Management is now available on iPhone and iPad, with upcoming availability on other platforms. Learn more.
5. Office 365 Import Service
The Office 365 Import Service makes content migrations to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business much easier. Traditionally, such migrations often require lengthy data uploads over the network. With the Office 365 Import Service, you can save time by copying data to hard drives and shipping it, rather than using the network. But if you prefer to use the network for smaller data sets, a new migration pipeline offers quicker service. Learn more.
6. New Office apps for wearable devices
Call it “wearable productivity.” Office has in recent months launched a series of new apps, available via Office 365 on iOS, Android and Microsoft wearables. These include OneDrive, OneNote, PowerPoint, Skype, Yammer, Sunrise, Wunderlist, and the Microsoft Translator for AppleWatch and Android Wear. For the Translator, just speak into your watch to get instant translations in 50 languages. Learn more.